Fashion brand Max, a part of Dubai-based US $9 billion Landmark Group, is looking to expand its retail presence in India by exploring 10 new cities and taking total store count to 250 by April 2018.
In an interview with Indiaretailing, Executive Director, Max Fashion India, Vasanth Kumar said, “This year, significant growth is coming from the East which is an untapped market for us and overall we are seeing good traction of new properties also coming to us. I am seeing a very buoyant situation as far as retail is concerned for value fashion segment.”
In the coming year, the brand is looking towards expanding its footprint beyond the metros and mini-metros which means Tier II and Tier III cities are on the radar.
“We are opening in cities like Muzzarfarpur, Patna, Erode Ajmer, Kota, Nasik and Aurangabad. The reason behind choosing these cities is that over the past decade we could see customers connecting with us well and many customers from the Tier II cities visit metros, so they have invariably brought the brand and they want the same brand there itself. So, we feel that it is the right opportunity for us to enter these markets being in 12th year of operations,” Kumar revealed.
He further added, “We are also backing it up with a campaign. We are getting into TV campaign so that the awareness of the brand is also created in the Tier II and Tier III cities.”
Overall, Max is 97 per cent private label and that is how the brand has been built from Day 1. And going forward, the brand will be following the same strategy in new cities.
Elaborating on this further, Kumar said, “We ensure that whatever products we have are all designed in-house. We have a team of 100 designers and buyers and we visit international markets, we have around 250 vendors. We get these range produced from them and retail across to all our 200 stores.”
Omnichannel Is The Way Forward
As Omnichannel has opened a bag full of opportunities for the retailers, Max Fashion is also leaving no stone unturned to provide a similar experience to its customers be it online or offline.
Talking about the Omnichannel strategies adopted by the brand, he revealed, “At Max Retail we are getting in to the Omnichannel but before that we are doing a pilot in Bengaluru on Endless Aisle Project. What we are doing is, we are connecting our key stores to our warehouses and making the products available either at our stores or at our warehouse. So, the customers can order at our stores and get it delivered to their house. We will be using kiosks and tablets wherein the customers can browse the range and then do the ordering. We are training our staff to manage it.”
He further added, “Soon our all the stores will be Wifi enabled. So that the customers can browse the range. And we hope through this we will be giving a better experience to customers because in Max there is always an issue of sizes not available at the end of every season, we come with new range every six weeks. Through this, we hope to service customers well.”
Max, which is working on it Omnichannel strategy, gets just one per cent of its business from online but over the next 5-6 years, the brand hopes to achieve a healthy single digit contribution through online.
According to Kumar, “We have started investing more into digital marketing and also getting into digital catalogues. We are also creating different look-books and trying to connect customers through right associations. So that whenever customer wants to buy for any occasion, they can browse and find the appropriate looks from Max and we are also driving this online initiative into our stores. Apart from in stores, we are also promoting Max Fashion app to be downloaded, so that customers can choose to buy online or offline whenever they want.”
For year ending 2016, Max hit the revenue target of Rs 2,400 crore. For this year, Max is looking forward to clock revenue of Rs 3,000 crore. The brand is growing at the rate of 34 per cent for the last 12 years in a row and hopes to maintain growth of 30s over the next 3-4 years also. Over the next 4 years Max looks forward to become a Rs 5,000 crore brand.
Value Apparel Retail Format – Easybuy
There is a clear distinction between Easybuy and Max. Max is focussed on Metros, Tier I and Tier II whereas Easybuy concentrates on Tier II and Tier III onwards and also the product ranges are different.
There are separate set of designers working on Easybuy and it is a smaller format of 5,000 sq.ft sized stores. It deals with very sharply priced trendy products whereas Max is about value fashion giving fashionable products.
Easybuy as a brand is positioned for the Navbharat customer whereas Max is positioned for the white collared-service industry customer.
Discussing about the future plans of Easybuy, Kumar said, “Easybuy is already 22 stores. It is growing one store every three weeks. We are right not spreading across in South, we are going to enter East by the second half of this year and other regions over the next two years. By this year end, we will be crossing 50 stores of Easybuy.”
Spelling The Success For A Brand
Kumar was also a part of recently concluded India Shopping Centre Forum 2017 at Mumbai, where during the inaugural session, on the basis of his own experience, shared the four steps that every brand should take to take the brand to new height.
“Whether it is online or offline , the brand needs to have these four things to be successful – you need to be a destination, you have to offer freshness, give customer the experience and it is necessary to delete the pain points,” revealed Kumar.